Josh St. Denis - "Search Through Static + 2"
(Self-released 2005, CDR)
From Aural Innovations #31 (June 2005)
Search Through Static + 2 is a mini-album from experimental ambient guitarist Josh St. Denis. The title track, a nearly 18-minute long improvised set in four movements explores various drone states, utilizing both guitar and synth and numerous effects.
111 is thriving with white noise, flowing by on a oceanic swells of static riddled sound. 222 is even spacier, forgoing the minimalism of the first part for a lusher sound. 333 is the most intense, with a deeply delayed riff that drags along shrieking electronics into chaos. 444 starts off almost like a shoegazer piece before it rushes into a wall of guitar feedback with electronic drones fading in and out of the mix. Full of bursts of static, glitches, and startling panning effects, Search Through Static isn't exactly your typical kind of ambient music. Rather than lulling the listener into a relaxed state, the music tends to tug the listener around into various altered states of consciousness, making this perhaps more psychedelic in nature than ambient.
The mini album closes with two extra tracks. Boy I Found Without Looking features some warm finger picked acoustic guitar backed by nicely contrasting shuddering, droning atmospherics. A Coeur Heureux Souriere Joyeux opens with dark and spooky atmospherics punctuated with throbbing bass tones, morphing suddenly in the middle into something more akin to ambient techno, with the atmospherics swirling around a driving electronic percussive rhythm.
In the liner notes, Josh says, "Best heard with headphones, perhaps before bed." Search Through Static + 2 is 24 minutes of music that may indeed get you ready for sleep, by clearing out the spaces of your consciousness that have become cluttered through the course of the day, but it also just might give you some pretty strange dreams as you sleep.
For more information you can visit Josh St. Denis's My Space web site at: http://www.myspace.com/12037362.
Or contact him via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald